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Humanitarian minister , Betta Edu, clears air on transfer of N585m to private bank account

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Edu Betta, has made clarifications regarding the controversy surrounding the transfer of N585,198,500.00 from the ministry’s account into a personal account.

The ministry has been rocked by allegation of financial impropriety and malfeasance in recent days as the minister is accused of siphoning public funds.

In a viral document signed by Edu, the minister directed the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to the disbursement of N585,198,500.00 to one Oniyelu Bridget.

The document also showed that the payment of the N585.198 million grant, meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states, was made into Oniyelu’s account.

However, reacting to the development, the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Minister, Rasheed Zubair, said there was not untoward or illegal about the transaction.

He disclosed that the N585.198 million payment was for the vulnerable group followed due process.

He stated that the payment of the grant to the account of an individual, Oniyelu Bridget, was because the fellow currently serves as the Project Accountant of Grants for Vulnerable Groups.

He explained that the payment of the N585.198 million grant was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun and Lagos states.

“For the avoidance, the said N585m was approved, and it is meant to implement grants to vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states.

“We must note that GVG was first launched in Kogi State, where recipients testified. Akwa Ibom and Cross River were launched in December 2023. Kogi already happened in November, and others will be launched in the coming weeks.

“The general public is invited to note that the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups is one of the social intervention schemes of the Federal Government, which the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is implementing.

“Oniyelu Bridget is the Project Accountant for GVG from the Department of Finance, and it is legal in civil service for a staff, the project accountant, to be paid and use the same funds legally and retire the same with all receipts and evidence after the project or programme is completed”, he stated.

Meanwhile, the development was greeted with vehement criticism on social media as Nigerians wondered why a huge sum of the Federal Government’s money would be paid to an individual’s account.

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